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The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news.

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Afghanistan 18, U.s. 13, Pakistan 12, Us 8, Sarah Palin 7, Russia 6, Kabul 5, Hamid Karzai 5, Dr. Sanjay Gupta 4, Karzai 4, Unitedhealthcare 4, Paul 4, Paul Begala 3, Obama 3, Rollins 3, Texas 3, New York 3, Mahmoud Karzai 2, Larry Sabato 2, Gibbs 2,
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  CNN    The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional  
   reporting and online resources update international news.  

    September 4, 2010
    6:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

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>> i cannot let anybody -- >> he claimed he had been in the water about ten hours, charged with trespassing and misusing the 911 system. who would imagine? you knew this day would come. first, there was same-sex marriages so it follows there would be same-sex divorce. not in texas. two men married legally in massachusetts in 2006 sought to sever their union in dallas but now an appeals court there says a district judge in dallas had no authority to hear the divorce case because same-sex marriage is not permitted in texas. what goes around doesn't always come around. we'll be back in a bit. i'm tom foreman at the cnn center in atlanta. stay with us all evening for all the late, breaking news. "the situation room" begins right now. with the clock ticking toward mid-term elections in just two months, president obama is stepping up efforts to turn around the economy. but with growing fear of a
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double-dip recession, what are his options? i'll ask moody's chief economist, mark zandy. children holding on to hope in the middle of a disaster. dr. sanjay gupta is in pakistan with the youngest flood victims. and blowing up tanks, literally. how inflatable artillery could change everything we know about waging war. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." as i've said from the start, there's no quick fix to the worst recession we've experienced since the great depression. the hard truth is that it took years to create our current economic problems. and it will take more time than any of us would like to repair the damage. millions of our neighbors are living with that painfully every
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day. but i want all americans to remind themselves, there are better days ahead. >> president obama speaking ahead of a labor day weekend, which finds more americans without jobs. the labor department says the unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a percent in august to 9.6%. as the economy shed 54,000 jobs. the loss was better than some analysts were predicting, but that's unlikely to help the president's poor approval rating when it comes to the economy. the latest cnn opinion research corporation poll shows only 40% approve of president obama's handling of the economy while 59% disapprove. it's a far cry from what the white house was branding as recovery summer. let's talk about that and more with moody's chief economist, mark zandy. thank you very much for coming in. >> thanks, wolf. >> with labor day now, it's the end of summer for so many folks. it was supposed to be recovery summer. that's what the white house said. what went wrong?
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>> well, as the president pointed out, we did suffer a very, very severe recession. it's going to take a while to overcome the psychological scars of that economic downturn. but i do think we also got sidetracked this spring when things started to improve by the european debt crisis. that undermined our stock market and undermined confidence, it caused businesses to pull back, caused some households to pull back and thus, the recovery, while still intact, has weakened. >> when you add all the people who simply have given up looking for a job that number, realistically, is much higher. in your opinion, how high is the unemployment rate? >> well, if you include all of the unemployed and all of the underemployed people, for example, who work part time because they can't find a full-time job, the underemployment rate is 16.7%. and that would be the highest rate of underemployment since the early 1980s. and then you have to go all the
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way back to the great depression. to give you another number, that translates into about 25 million americans that are either unemployed or underemployed. >> when you talk about underemployed, someone who may have been laid off from a job, making $80,000 a year, now takes a job making $30,000 a year just to put food on the table. that's what we're talking about. that person is considered employed, even though it's not the kind of employment he or she used to have? >> yeah. and i'm not even considering that, if it's a full-time job. if it's someone who has been forced to a part-time position and is getting less pay as a result, i'm counting that number. the stresses go well beyond even the numbers i have articulated. i think perhaps -- likely every american has been touched in some way. if they've not lost their job, they have a family member, friend or neighbor who has. i think we're all being affected by this. >> if we take a look and break down the august unemployment numbers by categories, among whites, 8.7%. among blacks, 16.3%.
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hispanics, 12%. why is there a -- this discrepancy in this day and age? >> well, a lot depends on your skill level, your educational attainment. so, the higher your skill set, the more education you have, the better you have done. now, everyone has been affected from top to bottom. unemployment rates are very high, unusually high for college-educated workers. but the more skill and education you have, the lower your unemployment rate is. >> where do you see the unemployment number going in the next few months, let's say over the next year? >> it's going to rise. we're getting underlying job growth today is less than 100,000 a month. we need more than 150,000 a month just to main tauntain a s rate of employment. i wouldn't be surprised if it's back in the double digits by the end of the year. >> 10%, 10.5%? >> i think it will be over 10%
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come december, january and the peak probably will be closer to 10.5% by early next year. >> and will it stay at that level throughout 2011? >> i'm hopeful that it will improve. there is some good news. big business, mid-size companies are very profitable. and if history is any guide when we see these kind of profits, ultimately businesses get their groove back and start to hire more aggressively. i anticipate that occurring as we make our way into next year. even under the best scenario, we're going to have very high unemployment for a very long time. we're talking five, ten years. we're not going to see any meaningful improvement for quite some time. >> for five or ten years, is that what you're saying? >> yeah. i mean, to get back to full employment, what everyone would consider to be an unemployment rate that would signify to everyone who wants a job is getting a job, that's 5%, 6%. it's going to take a good, solid five years and perhaps longer. we need some really good policy making and a little bit of luck. >> because the president's message after the friday morning
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unemployment numbers came out, the added message, if you listen carefully -- listen to these little clips. >> we are confident that we are moving in the right direction, but the key point i'm making right now is that the economy is moving in a positive direction. jobs are being created and the evidence that we've seen during the course of this summer and over the course of the late 18 months indicate that we're moving in the right direction. >> are we moving in the right direction? >> yes, we are. now, just think back a year ago. it's hard to remember that far back. but we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs. the unemployment rate was heading straight up. trajectory was headed in the wrong direction. the president is right, we are creating jobs. it's not enough to bring down the unemployment but we are creating jobs. a year from now, next labor day will be even better. but the improvement is slow. it will take a long time. we dug ourselves such a very
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deep hole, it will take years to dig our way out. so, yes, we're moving in the right direction. it's just too bad we're not moving in that direction more quickly. >> looking back over the past 18 months since president obama took office with hindsight, we're all a lot smarter. what should we have done differently? >> well, i think it would have been prudent back in early '09 when we were gathering together the stimulus package, if it were made larger and were made larger by more tax cuts, payroll tax holiday. right now we're talking about the potential for another payroll tax holiday. if we had done something like that back in early 2009, then i think that would have made a meaningful difference. >> is it too late now? there's a lot of talk about yet a second stimulus package, even though they don't want to call it a stimulus package for obvious political reasons, but is it too late now for a huge stimulus package to go forward? >> well, it's too late for the next six to nine months.
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the die is cast. there's nothing the administration or congress could do today that would make a meaningful difference with respect to the job market between now and next spring. but there are many things they could do that would make a difference with respect to that long-term unemployment problem i just mentioned. so, there are things that can be done and should be done. we should nail down these tax cuts that are expiring at the end of the year, unless congress and the administration do something. the president has made a point about passing the small business bill in front of congress. that should be done. i do think it makes some logical sense to start talking about a large infrastructure spending program out years that is paid for. we have to pay for it, but i think that makes sense as well. >> you have said in the past and i assume you still agree that when it comes to the tax rates, they should continue as is, even though they're supposed to go into -- they're supposed to expire at the end of this year. you don't want any it tax increases in 2011, even for people making more than $250,000 a year? >> exactly.
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you know, my view, the recovery is just too fragile. we can't take a chance. if we go back into recession, there is no reasonable policy response. don't take a gamble. keep everyone's tax rates where they are in 2011. when we're into 2012, 13 and the economy has its groove back, we're up and running, then individuals can revert back to where they were. at that point we need to address our next big problem, our long-termf fiscal situation. >> mark zandi from moody's, thank you very much. >> thank you. president obama is about to hold his first news conference, first scale news conference in almost four months. we'll talk about that with our political contributors, democratic strategist paul begala and ed rollins. cnn's dr. sanjay gupta is in pakist pakistan's flood zone with an emotional story. investing in a different kind of air power, details of
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president obama is preparing to hold his first full-scale news conference in almost four months. the q & a is scheduled for friday in the white house east room. i talked about that and much more with our cnn political contributors, democratic strategist paul begala and republican strategist, ed rollins. is this a big deal or little deal, finally starting to take some questions from that white
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house press core, paul? >> i think it's always good. i like when presidents do this. it focuses the mind, the staff and it focuses the president and will require for him to figure out where he stands. i love the dry runs, to tray to figure out what you would be asking president clinton, wolf, back in my day. i think it's good for the president and it's good for the question. >> what do you think, ed? >> it's always good to go before the public for the president. gibbs has his daily duty. the president hasn't had good press conferences and need as good one. >> when you say gibbs isn't as effective as he can, speak -- elaborate a little bit. what do you mean by that? >> he hasn't gotten out of the campaign mode. he has to y u, basically communicate to the american public what eir thory is. anthin's too combative political n more and mo analyst athe university of
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virginia, center of politics. he has this new crystal ball, looking at november 2nd. he says given what we can see at this moment, republicans have a good chance to win the house by picking up as many as 47 seats net, you need 39 in order to have john boehner become the speaker of the house. in the senate republicans have an outside shot of winning full control, that would be plus ten, but are more likely to end up with plus eight or plus nine. is he on target, paul? >> first off, he is a highly respected guy, larry sabato at the uva. not the university of texas, but not a bad school, uva. i can't say he has any ax to grind. i've been telling democrats my strategy is three words. build an arc. it could be category 4, category 5. we should have chad myers tracking the storm that's coming to hit the democrats. don't sit there passively and wait for the storm to hit. build an arc. get out in front of this. put the republicans on trial. many brace the fact that it looks like congress may well
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switch and say what would the republicans do? privatelyize social security, cut taxes for the rich and ship jobs overseas. they need to start making, like this press conference next friday, let's see how fast before president obama starts talking about shipping jobs overseas and social security being privatized if he's on those kinds of messages, it will tell us that the democrats are getting on the offense. >> reality, ed, you know, and so does paul, that republicans can talk about all those things if they want to. but getting that done with the president of the united states, the white house and the veto pen, it's a lot more difficult even if you have the majority in the house and even in the senate. the president can veto that kind of legislation. >> yeah. i don't think anything is going to happen. i think everyone now is worried about getting re-elected. when you look at larry sabato, who i have great respect for or charlie cook, one of the great analysts, everybody has 70, 80 democrat members who are basically in vulnerable seats. rahm emanual did a very effective job with paul's help
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in 2006 and 2008 recruiting candidates to 150 plus seats and they were republican seats. most of these seats now are in jeopardy, particularly if republicans turn out, a lot of animosity toward obama. our side has intensified. we still have to win them. i never take them until we win them. >> we heard what paul says, the president and the democrats need to do between now and november 2nd. what advice do you have for them? >> i'm not going to give them any advice. paul gives them great advice. i'm going to say to my side, you have to articulate what it is that you're about. you're going to go there and make sure that more of this big spending and deficit spending and more of these programs like the health care are not going to be implemented and the bottom line here is that you're going to go fight ordinary people out there, the middle class that obviously are suffering and really go out and aggressively draw the line in the sand and say, electing us creates a block on what the obama and pelosi and
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them want to do. >> where did the democrats go wrong over the past year and a half? lopsided majorities in the house and the senate and now they're facing a blood bath. where did the democrats go wrong? >> you no he what our buddy james carville would say. it's still the xi, stupieconomy. it's really 15% or 16% when you count people who have given up or taking jobs below their skill level. they're going to want to run you out of power. i think the democrats have first and foremost a reality problem. they have a terrible economy. that's the most important thing. they also have a political problem, but that's secondary. i think the way to address, though, as i said before, is put the republicans on trial. don't try to tell the country you've done such a great job on everything when things are so bad. instead say those guys are worse. and that's probably -- it's a little negative message, but i like negative politics. i know rollins is a very gentle
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soul. >> he loves negative politics, too, and was pretty good at that stuff. as were you. >> he's a boxer. he can kick my butt still. >> i doubt that. i do love this environment for us. i suffered through many -- i'm a little older than paul and have been through a lot of these. they're cycles. this is a good cycle for us. if we do get the majority back, we do get close in the senate, we have to make things happen. the one good thing about this is it will force the white house to come and deal with republicans in a real way. they didn't have to deal with republicans when they had majorities in the house and senate. they have to deal with us either way, whether we have the majority or are close. >> the president is going to go back to ohio next week, yet again. that key battleground state. i think he and his people are looking ahead to 2012 a little bit. we'll discuss that on another occasion. paul begala, ed rollins, thanks very much. it could change the face of war as we know it. ahead, a look at why russia's military is literally blowing up
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what if we could potentially change the face of war? russia's military is doing just that, by literally inflating its own artillery. here is cnn's senior international correspondent, matthew chance. >> reporter: the pride of russia's military on parade at the capital. this former superpower has a bizarre military secret. outside moscow, it's being blown up, literally. in the event of war, inflatable hardware like this fake missile
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launcher could be deployed on the front lines. tanks, too, are available in blow-up form designed to confuse and mislead russia's enemies. the trick, say the manufacturers, is in the detail. oh, right, an additional fuel tank. whoa. on this -- why would you need an additional fuel tank for an inflatable? >> because we have several tanks, and the real thing, something snap this one -- >> reporter: it's just to make it look more realistic? >> yes, yes. >> reporter: okay. the company's workshop design teams draw up the complex patterns needed to create convincing fakes. the entire arsenal is already being stitched together from blow-up fighter jets to artillery guns to radars. well, the interesting thing is that the russian military has
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now ordered large numbers of these inflatables, specifically replicas of the latest battle tank and sophisticated missile systems. for russia, it seems that fooling the enemy may be an important part of a future war strategy. critics say that the money could be better spent on improving russia's real decrepit hardware. for now these pop-up fakes are proving a cheap stand-in for the real thing. matthew chance, moscow. now, president karzai's brother makes a starting demand that at least one diplomatic expert says smacks of corruption. and later, when the president's away, interior designers will play. the oval office gets a new look. [ male announcer ] like summer it's here, but not forever. the lexus golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2010 is 250
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there's been a shake-up at the afghan embassy here in washington, d.c. where the afghan ambassador suddenly has been ordered to vacate his post amid a controversy swirling back home. ambassador is here in the
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situation room to talk about what's going on. mr. ambassador, thanks very much for coming in. i assume you're still the ambassador right now but they've told you it's over. why? >> well, first, i served as ambassador the past seven years and have established the embassy from the ground up and many very grateful for the support i have received, especially from friends here. my term will be ending by september 22nd. usually, terms of ambassadors are between three to five years. so it's fairly normal for ambassadors to end their term at some point. >> there's been some controversy because this was a sudden shock to a lot of people and many u.s. officials are telling me they were shocked to hear this as well. they say it raises questions about president hamid karzai. what's going on over there? >> i was not given an explanation about the reason of the end of my term, basically. but as i mentioned, seven years
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is a long time. and i did expect to have to, at some point, leave this job. >> did they give you advance warning that your tour of duty would be over or did they suddenly just say it's over? >> they asked me to come back to afghanistan to join the ministry of foreign affairs and my tour of duty would be over september 22nd. >> they just told you that. let me read to you, karzai has made a series of hasty firings in the past few months. last week he snis ed a deputy attorney general who had been involved in corruption investigations of government officials. in june, karzai abruptly fired the interior minister hanif atmar and intelligence chief amrullah saleh. some intelligent officials are saying president karzai seems to be behaving somewhat bizarre right now and are surprised by what he is doing. >> i report to the ministry of foreign affairs. the authority of rule actually is in charge of appointment and removal of the ambassador is the
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ministry of foreign affairs. as far as the other dismissal of some very, very qualified officials in afghanistan, i really cannot comment. it was a different situation, different condition. but, as i mentioned, i had the privilege, actually, of serving afghanistan, being the face of a new afghanistan and establishing the embassy from the ground up and making it one of the most successful embassies of afghanistan abroad. >> all of a sudden, they tell you to go home. here is another quote from the article in "the washington post." jawad, that's you, has been the subject of what he called a smear campaign in afghanistan over the past few weeks. several afghan websites published photographs that purported to show people consuming alcohol and women dancing in sleeveless dresses at an embassy party to celebrate the muslim holy month of ramadan. you've seen all those accusations that muslims are not supposed to drink alcohol and certainly women are not supposed to be sleeveless. what do you say about those smears that were leveled against
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you back in afghanistan? >> first, these were completely false accusations, doctored pictures that portrayed as if there was an event at the embassy of afghanistan on the second day of the holy month of ramadan. while i was in columbia in brazil at that time and never had an event at the embassy. pictures were doctored. >> so who was out to get you, spreading these rumors and these smears? >> a few hard-working, afghan that are left in the afghan government are subject to a broad smear campaign both by the opportunistics inside the government and also the fanatics outside the government. so, there is a war in afghanistan. so, they use misinformation, disinformation and propaganda in different ways. but at the same time, you also have hundreds and thousands of message of support for what we have accomplished, what we have done in here. we have been here a long time and people know what we stand
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for. >> will you go back to kabul, to afghanistan right now to serve in the foreign ministry? >> i will serve afghanistan, certainly. i am not a career diplomat. i joined the government from the private sector for a vision of building a peaceful, prosperous afghanistan. i will continue to work for that vision but if it is outside the government or inside government, i have not decided yet. but i never have been part of the government for a long time. my past is private sector. >> because some reports say you'll stay here in the united states. >> yes, i will stay here for a transition because my family lives here. my son is going to school. for a short time, i will be here and then i will make the decision. >> mr. ambassador, we wish you only the best and we wish, of course, the people of afghanistan only the best. we hope there is peace, security and democracy in afghanistan one day. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. the u.s. ambassador in afghanistan is massive in both military and money and lives lost. now the brother of this man, president hamid karzai, wants the u.s. to step up again.
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this time, to rescue a bank. i'll talk to one former diplomat who calls his request revolting. they are the most vulnerable victims of pakistan's flood disaster. how the children of pakistan cling to hope for their future. and the oval office gets an obama overhaul. we'll take a closer look at the presidential office faye face lifts, past and present.
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president ahamid karzai's brother wants the u.s. to bail out the banking system in afghanistan.
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joining us is peter galbreath, a former united nations representative to afghanistan. this is a weird story right now. what is going on with this bank in kabul and the desire of the brother of hamid karzai for the u.s. taxpayers to bill out the bank? >> you have to admire mahmoud karzai's chutzpah in this case. the bank, it turns out that $160 million went missing, was looted by the top officials at the bank to buy real estate in dubai, luxury real estate in dubai for them and other top politicians, including, apparently, members of the karzai family. depositors have rushed the bank to get their money back. it isn't there. now mahmoud karzai, who owns 7%
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of this bank, would like the u.s. taxpayers to bail them out. this is part of a larger picture of the karzai family. one of karzai's other brothers, hamid wally karzai is the power broker in the strategically important kandahar province and he runs a private militia, and the u.s. officials believe he is involved in drug dealing and doing deals with the taliban and and hamid karzai himself stole the last election. this is is a level of corruption, and dishonesty that is frankly revolting, and many americans should be asking what are our troops fighting for, and more importantly, it makes it extremely difficult for us to accomplish our mission when this is our partner. >> listen to robert gates, the secretary of defense in kabul this week, and he said this, and i want to play this clip. listen to this. >> we learned our lesson in turning our back on afghanistan in 1989 and we have no intention
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of doing so again. >> he says that the u.s. is not going to pull out. what -- how do you react when you hear that? >> well, the problem is that we have 100,000 troops, we're spending $120 billion a year on a mission to defeat the taliban in a counterinsurgency strategy where all of the architects, secretary gates included, say that the central feature for success is a credible afghan partner. and the partner that we have runs the second most corrupt country in the world. he is clearly personally corrupt. he is ineffective. he is known by diplomats as the mayor of kabul. he is illegitimate. he stole the last election. and unthose circumstances, >> and what should the obama
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administration do? >> well, it made a huge mistake there is no prospect for success. by tripling the number of troops there. and if you are -- and it is really immoral to be sending troops to fight in a mission that they can't succeed at because, again, you don't have that credible partner. so i would say change the mission to something that is achievable, namely protecting the nonpashtun parts of the country where the taliban is not present and go to kabul and therefore you could do it with 10,000 troops instead of 100,000. >> i have had officials say to me, peter, in the last few days that they are worried about karzai, that he seems to be act ing in a bizarre way, firing one bureau chief, getting rid of one security chief and now firing his one u.s. ambassador. do you see karzai becoming more erratic? >> he has a long history of being erratic, of temper
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tantrums and now he realizes that he has the u.s. over the barrel and he could do what he wants. this is the product of a big mistake the u.s. made last year when it went along with the u.n. in covering up the massive fraud in afghanistan's presidential elections. and karzai realizes that his weakness is actually -- means that theu has to back him up. he came to the u.s. there was a love offensive from president obama and the top officials. he really thinks he has a blank check. the trouble is with this weird behavior, this corruption that involves him and his family, it is undermining the chances for success. >> so on this issue -- >> not only undermining -- >> sorry for interrupting, but on this issue of what the strategy should be, i hear what you're saying. and it seems to be in total disagreement with general petraeus. >> well, general petraeus, if he were here, he would say to you we are -- our strategy is a counterinsurgency strategy. it is one that u.s. troops
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cannot do by themselves. they need to have a credible afghan partner. and so the only question is, is the government of hamid karzai a credible partner? and, frankly, i know that many of the officials in the obama administration privately, they know that -- they see exactly what we all see, what is sxemplyfied by this scandal at the kabul bank. they see a corrupt, ineffective government and they are worried. petraeus would put a public face on it and say something different, but i suspect in his heart he knows, and in private he knows what the score is. >> i guess president karzai's brother would say this bank is too big to fail. but that refers to another part of the story. peter galbreth, thank you very much for joining us. >> wolf, good to be with you. pakistan's raging floodwaters are taking a devastating toll on children. our own dr. sanjay gupta is on the ground with a firsthand report.
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u.s. is launching an assistance program in flood-ravaged pakistan to help the families devastated by the disaster. united nations warns that children are especially at risk from the floods with aid funding slowing down. cnn's chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta, is witnessing the crisis firsthand at refugee camps and tells us in this touching peace that pakistan's children are holding on to their hopes for the children. >> electrolytes -- >> he is now getting something millions across pakistan cannot, medical care. it's amazing, because up until a
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couple of days ago, his life looked like this. then he got sick. very sick. a parent's love for their son took over. knowing he would die, they took a gamble, left everything they had behind and just started moving, somewhere, anywhere. we've probably never seen them lined like this before but this is a line for people waiting to get into the hospital. you see garbage all around the place. they stay here, all day long, waiting. a lot of people have infectious diseases that are associated with drinking contaminated water. it's what we've been talking about. this is a diarrheal treatment center specifically for children. he finally made it inside. your town is completely covered in water? he has been sick for some time. he was saying he was sick before the flood and just became much worse during the flooding. 3 years old, weighs just 10
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pounds. he is so small. for comparison, i have a 3-year-old daughter. she weighs closer to 30 pounds. he is so fragile. young children have weaker immune systems. they become more easily dehydrated. like millions of people around the country, he didn't have a choice when he got thirsty. killer water or none at all. imagine drinking that. i have covered so many natural disasters. there's always fear of a second wave of disease. but access to clean water helped control that risk after the haiti quake. in pakistan, though, the second wave, it's already here. it's so hard to see these little kids so sick on these dusty, dirty tables, ivs hanging. this baby is so small all you see is her little foot hanging out with an iv, again. another child here, and these children are sick. this is a diarrheal treatment
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center to take care of them. some of these children have come from a flood. some of them are just citizens of pakistan, dealing with these issues on a pretty regular basis. killer water. just consider the impact. already a million people with crippling diarrhea. malaria, 65,000 cases and the and the world health organization projecting hundreds of thousands of patients with cholera, dysentery and typhoid. pakistan could literally be held hostage by killer water. and all of this, disproportionately affecting pakistan's next generation, like little 3-year-old fiaz. >> you can check things to see how dehydrated they are. push on the tips of their finger irs and the blood doesn't come back quickly. he's so dehydrated. he has a very weak pulse as well. his poor little mouth is so dry but he's in the right place. he's one of the lucky ones.
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dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, karachi, pakistan. to find out how you can make a difference, visit our impact your world page at cnn.com/impact. i want to thank dr. gupta for that excellent report. it's a most unusual rumor. why some are saying sarah palin doesn't hunt. where i am... but when it comes to my health care, why do i feel so lost ? ( announcer ) we understand your frustration. at unitedhealthcare we believe it should be simpler, and more responsive. we're 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. big numbers... but they're what give us the data and the experience to match you with the right doctor for your tricky condition... to guide and stand by you through your toughest medical decisions... to help you manage a chronic condition more on your terms. because in the end, all our innovations...
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the white house oval office has undergone a major makeover. renovations took place while the first family was away on vacation. it certainly isn't the first time the room has gotten a new look. many presidents have had a chance to make their mark. tom foreman has a closer look at how it's evolved since the early 1900s. >> reporter: the oval office has become to represent the views of any given president. back to 1909 when howard taft was in office there. he had the sea green carpet, walls over here, the earliest days of the oval office itself which was an addition to the old white house. we move on through time. here's john kennedy's oval office. bright red carpet. the carpet is one of the key things that get changed over time. lyndon johnson, nice reflection
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of the times. look at the bank of tvs, the dawning of the age of television news with people paying a lot of attention to it. jimmy carter, 1977, you may remember at this time, following nixon there was a sense he wanted to put away the idea of the imperial presidency. a plain look, a few features you'll see all the time, though, this desk, the resolute desk was actually made from the timbers of a british ship from the mid-1850s that the americans rescued from the arctic seas, restored, returned to britain. it averted a war at the time. there were growing tensions. the gift was a way of relieving those tensions and the queen remembered the favor by having this desk made, which has stayed through many presidents. ronald reagan had one of the most elegant traditional-looking oval offices as you can imagine with the white sofa, the resolute december income place. bill clinton had to my mind one of the showiest oval offices.
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look at the upholstery here, the rug, very bright and strong dynamic. this painting on the wall is something you'll see a lot of. this is one of my favorites. this is called "avenue in the rain." it's shown up in several white house oval offices. george w. bush, somewhere between the clinton look and the reagan look and then we move on to what we have now. look at the changes they've made here. a homey looking oval office for president obama and he shops in new york. i can tell you that. the furniture here, the table here, the lamps over here, all came from new york. the upholstery was from pennsylvania. the rug, however, was made in michigan. and it's embroidered around the edges with famous sayings by martin luther king, abraham linco lincoln, a lot of folks he admires. he changed the overall look of it. he went with a homey look in here, most of the items as i said came from new york. but in the end, he also still has some traditional looks. the resolute desk as i mentioned
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before and there's the "avenue in the rain," a frederick remington sculpture is over here. it's has a scholarly air and homey feeling that he wants to have in his white house. a white house that has two young children, which as you know is somewhat rare in this country. this is the look as he heads toward the completion of his second year in office. wolf? >> the white house makes the point of saying no taxpayer money was involved in the redecoration, all coming from private funds. say it isn't so. sarah palin doesn't hundred the? jeanne moos stalks this most unusual rumor. >> reporter: when you think of sarah palin, it's one of the first things to pop into your mind. >> a hunter. >> good hunting. >> moose hunting, samming fishing, pistol packing. >> holing a dead blooded moose. >> reporter: actually it was a dead caribou in the famous
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photo. now according to an article in "vanity fair" citing an unnamed long-time friend of the palin, that woman has never hunted. the picture of her with a caribou she says she shot she got out of the rv to pose for a picture. it's all a joke. sarah palin not a caribou killer, not a stalker of moose? didn't she prepare moose stew for greta van sustreen? >> todd was calling everyone he knew the day before. you got any moose? desperate. >> how many caribou do you think you've shot? >> just a few. >> reporter: she sure tried to shoot down the "vanity fair" reporter while she was on sean hannity's radio show. >> impotent, gutless reporters take anonymous sources and cite them. >> reporter: hunting for the truth is more elusive than hunting for moose.
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here's what palin's dad said. >> i remember every time she'd come home from college, she'd say, let's go bird hunting. she's shot several big-game animals. >> sarah palin is a tough lady. she kills things. >> i can't wait to kill with you. >> reporter: we need sarah palin the moose slayer for our computer games, for our impersonators. >> we have spotted our prey, the barack obama-ous liberals. >> this is one of my favorite activities is to hunt, too. >> we should go hunting together. >> reporter: it's not just the tractors, fans, too, need the moose-shooting mama. ♪ she's a moose shootin' mama >> reporter: even the moose shootin' mama herself. clings to her